Well, this is something..Via Puck Daddy, former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu has a crazy story about a locker-room prank.
Jarkko Ruutu was one of the NHL's greatest pests during his 11-season career. Two of those seasons were with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where Ruutu shared a locker room with forwards Colby Armstrong and Georges Laraque, both of whom are now retired.
And now, in his new Finnish-language book "The Divine Comedy," Ruutu shares one hell of a story about these two teammates which was excerpted on iltasanomat.fi.
From reader Krespo:
In this story he tells how, one day after practice, Georges Laraque stormed into the locker room absolutely furious, threatening to trash the place. Players gathered around and Laraque showed a picture pinned at his locker room stall - a drawing of a monkey with a banana.
So of course everybody started to freak out a bit, worried this could destroy the team. Laraque demanded to know who did it, and after a while, Colby Armstrong stepped up and admitted he did it.
Others wanted to know why would he do such a thing.
Armstrong replied: "What do you mean? He is a [N-word], isn't he?"
Laraque just snapped and attacked Armstrong, and others tried to break them up, worried somebody might get seriously hurt. But suddenly it ended with Armstrong and Laraque laughing - it was just a prank, albeit a bit over the top. No one had suspected anything, since the guys had acted their parts so fine. But it was a hoax.
The Penguins of that era were notorious for having a boisterous locker-room. In addition to Ruutu, Armstrong and Laraque (all notorious pranksters) there was also Marc-Andre Fleury and Maxime Talbot running around too, among others.
In this day and age in an incredibly politically correct world, someone's bound to be offended by this story leaking out, which it probably shouldn't have anyways. Down points to Ruutu for that.
Laraque weighed in on twitter after the Puck Daddy story hit.
@wyshynski bro the story is not accurate and that prank was my sole idea and Colby is a great friend and definitely not a racist one!— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) September 3, 2015
@wyshynski the way the prank was written is not accurate— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) September 3, 2015
Racism is obviously a sensitive issue, but in this case it looks like a funny joke. Numerous comedians have made fortunes touching on the subject. But it's a delicate matter that's not to be treaded on lightly, too. In this case it looks like a joke (initiated by Laraque himself) that may not even have been told accurately many years later. It's a crude, stupid joke, but welcome to an NHL locker-room (or, any room full of 20 outgoing young men, really). And it certainly would have been an item best left where it belongs- in that locker-room.